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Easytravel101

Everywhere you look, you see signs of a reopening of the travel world. Airlines are ramping up schedules and destinations are actively seeking customers. Unfortunately, however, the combined major stakeholders — airlines, destinations, and governments — have not put together coherent and unified policies and procedures for reopening. If you want to start thinking about spring or summer travel, you still have to navigate a minefield of confusion and uncertainty.

In the 1980s, Art Bell developed the idea for a 24-hour cable comedy network, which would eventually become Comedy Central. In his memoir “Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor" (Ulysses Press, $24.95), Bell writes about his beginning at the network, where he met a young Jon Stewart, and his eventual dismissal from the company he founded. Bell, who resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, is currently working on "The Origins of Comedy Central" podcast, which is scheduled to premiere in April.

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As of 2018, 4.5% of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (that is unless you are in San Francisco). Anyone who has seen the Netflix hit show Tale of a City will understand why. And, if you haven’t, it’s an entertaining, feel-good option to watch on your plane ride there. Iconic to the community for its trailblazing legislation on gay freedoms and for being the first city in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage, it’s no wonder why San Francisco was coined the “gay capital of the world.”

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If you’re looking for steamy encounters, New York City offers millions of singles from all over the globe, ready to mingle. Perhaps you’ve already been one of the 65.2 million tourists it receives annually? New York City is famous for its LGBTQ community, Gay Pride’s inception and its overall rejection of hate. Not to mention, every neighborhood’s character manifests into little cities within a city, from Hell’s Kitchen’s young gayborhood to the real-life New York City movie set of the West Village (home to the birth of gay rights, The Stonewall Inn). There’s a bar catering to every LGBTQ person, no preference or kink left behind.

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One of the world’s most popular gay beach destinations, “P-town” was ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau as”the gayest city in America.” During the off-season, the permanent population is around 3,000, which means more people are dancing in a crowded club in New York on a Saturday night. So if you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your partner, away from the constant noise of the metropolitan lifestyle, look no farther than Provincetown in the off-season. Featuring Insta-worthy attractions, including Long Point Lighthouse and the Pilgrim Monument, the town itself stretches three square miles but maximizes every inch. During the peak summer season, visitors swell the population to a packed 60,000. Provincetown’s gay scene and nightlife are centered around Commercial Street.

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Home to South Florida’s most popular gay club, “the Manor” in Florida, Wilton Manors is a city structured by the gays for the gays, which explains why most of its residents are, well, gay! It combines a small-town atmosphere with all the amenities of urban life. Suppose you’re looking for a less commercially touristy area than Miami but still a feasible drive, head on over to Wilton. You’re also a ten-minute drive from Haulover Beach, which is gayer than South Beach’s 12th Street (yes, that’s possible), and the north side is clothing optional. Comfortably compact and walkable, Wilton Drive is the heart of the city and the block where most gay bars are. Eucalyptus Gardens is often frequented for its coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping if you’re looking for a more sober option.

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Los Angeles might already be a must-stop for any jetsetter; however, if you must choose one place, the City of West Hollywood is where dreams are made for gay actors and travelers alike. Spend the day indulging in spas, sensational shopping, outstanding art galleries, and LGBTQ-frequented coffee shops in the West Hollywood Design District, then the night touring the vibrant bars and dance clubs on Santa Monica Boulevard. A whopping 40% of West Hollywood’s population identifies as LGBTQ, reflected directly in the community and all it offers.

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Let’s be honest: Despite the unbelievable amount of progress LGBTQ Americans have fought for and achieved in the U.S., there’s still more work and growth to be done before the flag can truly represent “liberty and justice for all” across the country. With this said, the gay community is forced to do more research than the average person when choosing a travel destination. It feels great to be in a city that welcomes all for who they are, but it’s even more exciting to be somewhere that caters specifically to you, to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.

Jesse Posey said that one of the perks of “Selena: The Series” is filming on location. Posey portrays Selena Quintanilla’s guitarist and husband, Chris Perez, in the Netflix series. “We filmed mostly in Rosarito, Mexico,” said the 26-year-old actor, who is Mexican American. “Then (we shot) quite a bit in Tijuana and a few times in Ensenada. Ensenada stood out to me, because my grandparents used to own a house there on the beach. I was only five the last time I was there, so I don't remember much. But I thought it was dope to be back there. Mexico is awesome. I might have to move there.” Based out of Burbank, California, Posey stays in touch with his fans on Instagram (@jpose13).

Right now, given the limits on foreign travel, domestic road trips are more popular than ever. If you plan to rent your road trip car, however, be on the lookout for the several perennial gotchas the rental companies throw at you to extract a few more of your dollars than necessary. Fortunately, you can avoid them knowing the gotchas before you put down your credit card.

Author, actress and activist Donzaleigh Abernathy’s latest project is inspired by her godfather Martin Luther King Jr. She’s the lead singer on “The Listening,” a choral project that’s a nod to Dr. King’s 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech. “My father (Rev. Ralph Abernathy) was with Uncle Martin that day at Riverside Church (in New York),” said Abernathy, who is based out of California. “After serving during World War II where all of the men in his company had been killed, except my father and another soldier named Benny, my father decided to dedicate his life to nonviolence.”

As we’ve had to postpone our travels because of the pandemic, I believe a weekly dose of travel dreaming can be good medicine. Here’s one of my favorite European memories from Florence — a reminder of the artistic wonders that awaits us at the other end of this crisis.

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